When you or a loved one passes away, your family will most likely need the help of a Probate attorney to manage the distribution of your assets with the assistance of a Court. A judge usually needs to order that a particular person has the authority to take care of duties related to bills, finances, taxes, and making sure possessions are given to those who stand to inherit them. The person taking on that role is called a Personal Representative or an Executor, and he or she has the authority to deal with these matters because a judge has given him or her that authority as part of the probate process. A person's last will and testament will help guide the judge and the personal representative as to how to carry out the probate.
Probate can be expensive and is more challenging when you die Intestate or without a Will. It is possible to avoid Probate while protecting your assets if you have a proper Estate Plan that includes a Trust. A meeting with a Probate or Estate Planning Attorney can help you decide how to manage your assets after you die and will help your family carry out your wishes.